Dr. Robert H. Lustig is best known for his groundbreaking research into the risks associated with consuming fructose. As a pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Lustig saw first hand the growing obesity epidemic that was affecting our children and decided to speak out. Fructose provides very little nutritional value and is usually just used for sweetening purposes. However, consuming too much can send your insulin levels soaring.
One way to regulate your sugar cravings is with Forskolin. This natural supplement has been shown to curb hunger pangs, which makes it easier to resist the pull of fructose.
A successful doctor and sought-after speaker, his lecture, "Sugar, The Bitter Truth" has been viewed by millions of people. This video is worth watching a few times over - I'm about to watch it for the fourth time and I've learned something every time. You can back up the video by reading Dr. Lustig's book, "Fat Chance".
The Bad News About Fructose
Your average Western diet consists of foods with a high-calorie count. Typically, a large proportion of these calories are supplied by sugar and high fructose corn syrup. There is not a whole lot of difference between the two - they are both made up of glucose and fructose.
Glucose is nature's fuel - without it, the body would not have the energy to perform its everyday functions. Without it, we would all die. Fructose, on the other hand, is not essential to life. In fact, it is really only naturally present in fruits - something that we consumed only as we needed to when we were still hunter-gatherers. With the exception of the liver, none of our organs can process large amounts of fructose.
The body deals with each of these simple sugars in different manners.
That is dangerous - combine a high caloric intake with a high fructose intake and you have a recipe for disaster - the liver will eventually become overwhelmed and the fructose will be converted to fat.
It is believed that it is the increased intake of fructose that is one of the leading reasons for the increase in so many of the so-called lifestyle diseases that we see today - cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
If You Take In Too Much Fructose:
Research has shown that excessive fructose levels may
- Cause the production of fats in the liver - these fats are then released into the bloodstream as cholesterol and can be stored around other organs. Left unabated, heart disease will result.
- Throw out the alkaline balance in the blood leading to a higher proportion of uric acid and, in turn, causing gout or hypertension.
- Lead to a buildup of excess fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease - as dangerous as alcoholic liver disease
- Cause Syndrome X - which makes the body less responsive to insulin. This, in turn, leads to weight problems and type II diabetes. Insulin resistance can also result in raised blood levels of insulin and IGF-1 throughout the body and this is thought to increase your risk of contracting cancer.
Fructose also does not make you feel as full as glucose does and you will thus eat more than you would have with glucose alone.
High amounts of fructose can also interfere with the body's own fat regulatory system - making it that much easier to gain weight and that much harder to lose it.
Sugar has been shown to cause similar responses in the brain chemistry to those caused by heroin - making it very addictive. Combine this with other body systems being affected and the likelihood that you are eating more and it is easy to see why excessive fructose intake leads to obesity.
If the fact that you are putting yourself at risk of some serious diseases and even putting your life on the line by eating too much sugar is not motivation enough to stop, not much else will be.
And this is not some airy fairy scientific theory - whilst not yet a scientific certainty, research has definitely shown a strong correlation between a high sugar intake and the development of lifestyle diseases.
Whole Fruit Is Not A Problem
Yes, some fruit has high levels of fructose but because of the low caloric value and high fiber levels, this is not dangerous. Considering the amounts of fruit you would have to eat to do harm, it is not realistic to ban fruits.
What you do need to cut out are the added sugars, not the naturally occurring ones. Nature is quite clever - it packages these with nutrient dense foods along with fiber to make these healthy for you.